Riyadh 'Optimistic' about Bashar Assad

Published June 14th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia is following Bashar Assad's ascent to power in Syria with "calmness and optimism," Riyadh's foreign minister was quoted as saying Wednesday in the Lebanese press. 

"We believe, with calmness and optimism, that the situation will move ahead in this brother country," Prince Saud Faisal told the daily newspaper al-Mustaqbal. 

The foreign minister, interviewed Tuesday when he attended President Hafez al-Assad's funeral, called the long-time ruler's death "the loss of a militant for Syria and Arab causes ... but who also trained a new generation able to assume responsibility in Syria." 

The Syrian parliament passed a constitutional amendment after Assad's death Saturday to allow his 34-year-old son to run. Bashar al-Assad has also been named commander in chief of the armed forces and candidate of the ruling Baath Party - BEIRUT (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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